Prayer Life

The Divine Office :: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament :: Filial love for Mary :: Lectio Divina :: Other Devotions


The main call of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament is to become one with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. “We are called to live the contemplation of divine things and an assiduous union with God in prayer. This is our first and foremost duty.” (Constitutions of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Art. 41)

Sacramental Life and Liturgy 

The requirements of the Liturgy can be summed up in one word, humility.  Humility by renunciation; that is to say, by the abdication of self-rule and self-sufficiency.  And humility by positive action; that is to say, by the acceptance of the spiritual principles which the liturgy offers and which far transcends the little world of individual spiritual existence.

Romano Guardini

Celebration of the Eucharist   


For the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Mass is at the center of our day. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass gives us the love and strength to work for God and for our brothers and sisters.  It is to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we bring to God the needs of those we work with, those who are in need of prayers all over the world. And it is in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we unite ourselves to Jesus to become one with him.

The Holy Sacrament of the Altar, the Eucharist, models what our religious life should be.  As Eucharistic souls, we surrender our life to God in total self-giving, silent adoration and thanksgiving for the gift of God “among-us.”

When the disciples on the way to Emmaus asked Jesus to ”stay with us”, he responded by giving them a much greater gift: through the Sacrament of the Eucharist he found a way to stayin them.Abide in me, and I in you. This relationship of profound and mutual abiding” enables us to have a certain foretaste of heaven on earth. [It is becoming one flesh, the greatest of human yearnings.] (Mane Nobiscum Domine §19).

Mercedarian Sisters recieving communion

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The Divine Office

“Public and common prayer by the people of God is rightly considered to be among the primary duties of the Church.” (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours §1)

The Liturgy of the Hours sanctifies every hour of our day. The Hours are prayed in common, because it is the community as one who praises God and it is the community as one that has received from God through the Church the ministry to intercede for others.

“In his goodness the Son of God, who is one with his Father ( Jn. 10:30) and who on entering the world said: ‘Here I am! I come, God, to do your will’ (Heb 10:9; Jn. 6:38), has left us the lesson of his own prayer.” (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours §4)

It is in union with Jesus, union that is deepened through the sacramental communion, and under the urge of the Holy Spirit that we seek to do God’s will in our lives and intercede for the needs of the Church and of the whole world.

“The excellence of Christian prayer lies in its sharing in the reverent love of the only-begotten Son for the Father and in the prayer that the Son put into words in his earthly life and that still continues without ceasing in the name of the whole human race and for its salvation, throughout the universal Church and in all its members.” (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours §7d)

Lauds, Vespers and Compline are prayed in community.

Lauds, our morning prayer is intended and arranged to sanctify the morning.

St. Basil the Great gives an excellent description of this character in these words: “It is said in the morning in order that the first stirrings of our mind and will may be consecrated to God and that we may take nothing in hand until we have been gladdened by the thought of God or set our bodies to any task before we do what has been said: 'I will pray to you, Lord, you will hear my voice in the morning; I will stand before you in the morning and gaze on you' (Ps 5:4-5)." (Cfr. General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours §38) 

Mercedarian Sisters praying

Vespers is said when evening approaches and the day is already far spent.

Evening prayer is celebrated in order that "we may give thanks for what has been given us, or what we have done well, during the day." We also recall the redemption through the prayer we send up "like incense in the Lord's sight," and in which "the raising up of our hands" becomes "an evening sacrifice." [6] This sacrifice "may also be interpreted more spiritually as the true evening sacrifice that our Savior the Lord entrusted to the apostles at supper on the evening when he instituted the sacred mysteries of the Church or of the evening sacrifice of the next day, the sacrifice, that is, which, raising his hands, he offered to the Father at the end of the ages for the salvation of the whole world." (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours §39)

Compline, the Night prayer is the last prayer of the day, said before retiring. It marks the end of our activities.

The hour begins straightway, without any introductory prayer, pauses awhile for an examination of conscience and an act of contrition. Both in Holy Scripture and in the liturgy, the sun and light are favorite comparisons and figures for the Godhead, for Christ, and the divine life. Christ is the divine Sun, the Christian is a child of this Sun. Such thoughts as these recur frequently in this hour.

The opposite of light, night with its darkness, is also a favorite image in the liturgy and the Bible for the sinister powers of hell. This thought of night and of darkness predominates in Compline. The darkness we recognize as the devil's trademark. Night is the mantle of the Prince of this world. The Christian, being a child of light, is afraid of this darkness, and like a little chick it scurries beneath the wings of the hen to escape Satan, the wheeling hawk.

In liturgical prayer we think not only of ourselves, but also of [humanity] for whom "night" is falling, whether the night of trial, of sin, or of death. And is it not true that the enemy lays his snares under cover of darkness? It is as though when night falls, hell disgorged all its inmates upon the earth, to prey upon [humanity]. How many sins indeed night enfolds in its darkness! And for this very reason the Christian prays at night for protection against the powers of hell, for himself and all [humanity].
Sleep too is a symbol, a figure of death. As man thinks of death almost spontaneously on going to sleep, Compline becomes also the night prayer of life, a prayer for a happy death. It contains many striking thoughts on this point. The blessing oat the very beginning is a crisp but thoughtful summary of these two ideas: "May Almighty God grant us a restful night and a happy death."

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Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 

Worthily, we participate daily in the Eucharist. We consume the body and blood of Christ and have daily adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. (Constitutions of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Art. 43).

Along, with our participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most important moment for the Mercedarian Sister of the Blessed Sacrament is the time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in silent adoration, in a heart to heart moment with Jesus among us, with the Emmanuel.

Daily, we take a minimum of 30 minutes in silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Exposition and adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is held daily in our communities.  

Eucharistic Liturgical feasts are joyfully celebrated in our convents: Corpus Christi and Holy Thursday. Every year, along with our students, we take part in the Forty Hours Devotion to deepen our love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Mercedarian Sisters in adoration

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Filial Love to Mary, the Mother of God and Our Mother 

Since the founding of Our Congregation, we have had a great devotion to Our Lady.  At the beginning, Our Lady of Guadalupe was the patroness of our religious family. In 1918,  after having met  the friars of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy and after having received many favors from Our Lady under her title of Our Lady of Mercy, Our Mother Foundress decided to make Our Lady of Mercy our patroness and to adhere to the Order of the Mercedarian Friars.  Consequently, we wear the habit of Our Lady of Mercy as a symbol not only of our love for her, but also as a sign that we are placed under her protection and guidance to become the brides of Jesus that whom God wills us to become.

Mercedarian Sister touching a statue of Jesus

We honor Mary Our Mother of Mercy with her image present in all of our communities and apostolic works and, especially, with the following practices:
- Daily recitation of the Angelus.
- Daily recitation of the Holy Rosary.
- Novena in preparation of the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy on September 24th.
- Singing the Salve Regina on Saturdays and the 24th of each month.

(Constitution of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Art. 56)

Mercedarian Sister bowing before a statue of Jesus

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Lectio Divina

The prayerful reading of the Word of God or Lectio Divina has as its goal to enable us to live God’s Word personally.

The Lectio Divina helps us to grow in holiness. We practice this prayerful reading of Holy Scripture individually and as a community. We strive to understand the Word of God to discover what God teaches us through the inspired author, to learn its meaning, better our mission and reinforce hope.

In prayer (personalizing), we ask ourselves: “What do we say to the Lord, motivated by His Word?”

The Holy Scripture is entrusted to the Church for salvation. In contemplation, we ask ourselves: What conversion is asked for by the contemplation of the Lord?  We strive to contemplate the Word (Jesus) to live according to the criteria of the Father (conversion).

Other Devotions 

We celebrate with greater devotion the feasts of the following saints as patrons of our Religious Family:

·       Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus and master of spiritual life.

·       Saint Peter Nolasco, founder of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.

·       Saint Pius X, Pope of the Eucharist.

·       Saint Michael the Archangel, defender of the Church.

St. Joseph with Jesus

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